“What kind of add-ins would you like today?” Drinking through a straw, you get more than the tea but also some tasty and surprising add-ins! Wave after wave of boba creativity keeps sweeping through people’s imagination. Since bubble milk tea was invented and promptly replaced black tea as the new favorite, what will be the next crown in the boba market? Be it drinks or add-ins, white gourd drink with black tea, Yakult with green tea, oolong milk tea with pudding or Four Season oolong tea with coconut jelly, all have the chance and potential to win. This, our third special issue, cordially recommends our pocket list to satisfy both your mouth and heart.
( Photo Credit: 烏弄、candicefoodie、ayi617、Dear b&b、COMEBUY、healthyshop.dr )
Various Tasty Add-ins in a Generous Cup of Tea
After bubble milk tea, the map for delicious Taiwanese boba is significantly expanded by various boba shops which offer creative and customized drinks. Coconut jelly, pudding, grass jelly, tea jelly, agar jelly, taro balls, aiyu jelly and perilla seeds all try to occupy a seat in these small cups of boba. Everyone can make one’s “rich” cup of drinks by adding various add-ins. For example, 50 Lan’s signature drink —No.1 Light Oolong Tea with Bubbles and Coconut Jelly—was initially the customized recipe of some regular customers, gradually becoming an overt choice providing immense satisfaction. Moreover, BOG Tea Shop, the collective memory of students in Tainan and the pioneer in providing indoor seats for their boba shop, made their signature drink Ding-gog by combining oolong tea with milk and pudding, and later launched ever-popular Integrated New Flavors, which contains pearls, bobas and crystals.
Despite the love for boba, the Taiwanese do not forget the importance of health. To reduce the burden placed on the body, add-ins with low calories and chewy taste such as agar jelly, pearl barley and chan seeds have appeared. Customers’ favorite in COMEBUY, Neptune Tea, sencha with agar jelly, is a typical example. Meanwhile, natural ingredients are widely used such as homemade cane sugar and handmade aiyu jelly. UNOCHA, which started the business from Kaohsiung, makes their own almond jelly to mix with Winter Tea. Besides the popular tea au lait, the select high-mountain tea series in SOMA, a trendy and exquisite boba shop, also adds sweet basil seeds which taste similar to chan seeds and are rich in dietary fiber. This combination elevates the layers of a drink and helps people to remain healthy and beautiful while enjoying their boba.
( Photo Credit: 鳥泥飲室、甘蔗の媽媽、zumin0318 )
From the Authentic Taiwanese Flavor to a Mixture of Creativity and Deliciousness
Apart from many inventive add-ins, the main body of boba also goes beyond the pure mixture of tea and milk and shows creativity in different colors. The three primary authentic Taiwanese flavors—sugar cane juice, white gourd drink and herbal tea—infuse extra sparkle. For example, Yi Feng White Gourd Drink near Fort Provintia in Tainan was established in 1912 to produce white gourd sugar cubes. Owners of the younger generation combine the idea of boba shop with the factory to put juice, boba, and agar or coconut jelly into white gourd drink to generate diverse beverages. Moreover, Sugar Cane Mama features their fresh homemade white sugar cane juice, mixing natural sugar cane juice with assorted tea drinks to produce new flavors. Green tea with pickled plums is another case revising old traditional recipes, and still others replace milk with soy milk such as brown sugar soy milk of Truedan and Matcha Soy Latte of Milkshop, all of which open up boba’s possibilities.
Nostalgia is natural, but creativity is essential. Take the drinks with Yakult for example. This kind of drink is always a best-seller. With the sweetness of Yakult and the scent and smooth aftertaste of tea, green tea with Yakult is already the beloved drink of many. Recently, soda, sparkling drinks, and boba with dreamy color gradients made from butterfly pea flowers have gotten much attention. Furthermore, alcohol’s encounter with tea forms a new fashion. Milk tea with Baileys Irish cream and green tea with Heineken beer are both instances of this sort, becoming popular on Instagram and attracting curious customers to give them a try.
( Photo Credit: 春芳號、麥吉machi machi、一心豪飲 )
Tasty, Yummy, and Lovely: Our Pocket List
In this intense battle of the boba drinks, we couldn’t neglect to share our pocket list. First, NiaoNi In The House, with a cute name and packing design, not only offers Tieguanyin milk tea with homemade tea jelly but also invents drinks with fruit vinegar such as Good Mood. Their special drinks with sparkling water such as Nice Weather, Children’s Amusement Park, and Kids’ Pinball Machine are our favorites. If you fancy taro balls, One Heart Teashop is the one for you. Their handmade small taro balls with the chewy texture and obvious taro taste match their fresh milk tea series. Recently, their milk tea with grass jelly has also been launched with plumpness. Machi Machi Teashop is even on the list of some celebrities, using stylish glass bottles and selling delicious black tea topped with creme brulee. The signature drink of Chunfunhow, whose chic cups are decorated with beautiful blossoms patterns, is light oolong with lychee honey and soft and refreshing aloe. Full of add-ins, boba are elevated to another level. A mouthful of chewy and smooth add-ins and another mouthful of refreshing sparkling soda make the Taiwanese boba both tasty and chewy. You will never tire of trying new boba!